Issue 4 August 2012
>> In The Spotlight
LAST CALL! - Submissions still open for the European Year 2012 Awards
Has your company improved the conditions for older workers? Has your municipality created better living environments for the ageing society?
Are you a journalist and you have written an article about the EY2012 challenges and solutions? Do you want to share with the world an inspiring story about an active ager you know?
The European Commission invites organisations and individuals promoting active ageing through their activities to participate in the European Year 2012 Awards. Submissions will remain open until September 1st, except for the Life Story Challenge, which will close September 16th.
Nominations may be submitted in six categories: Workplaces for all Ages, Towards Age-Friendly Environments, Social Entrepreneurs, Reporting on Ageing and Relations between Generations, Life Story Challenge and generations@school.
All citizens of EU Member States and those of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway may take part. The finalists in each category will be invited by the European Commission to participate in the EY2012 Active Ageing Awards ceremony, which is planned to take place in November in Brussels.
Click here to see how to participate and submit your application online.
New EC brochure “The EU Contribution to Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations”
The European Commission has just published the brochure "The EU Contribution to Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations", a comprehensive document which sets out what the European Union is doing to encourage active ageing. Released within the frame of the European Year 2012, the 24-page brochure presents the EU’s efforts regarding the active ageing agenda, showing that it is a strong partner in this regard.
The English version of this publication may be downloaded here. All other EU official languages will be available in the coming weeks, also in printed format.
Share your contributions to the first European Seniorforce Day
The European Commission is inviting public authorities and volunteer organisations all over Europe to devote this year one day in October to find new ways of engaging senior volunteers and making the most of their contributions.
The idea behind this first European Seniorforce Day is to mobilise people 60+ who have plenty to offer their families and communities and to find ways to utilise the potential of this formidable force.
The EY2012 official website will publish a selection of the best contributions to the European Seniorforce Day. If you want your planned activity to be highlighted, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This initiative is being launched in the context of the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations to coincide with the celebration of the International Day of Older Persons on 1 October.
The EC´s Council for Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs adopts conclusions
regarding the response to be given to demographic challenges
The European Union’s Council for Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs (EPSCO Council) adopted on June 21st in Luxembourg conclusions regarding the response to be given to demographic challenges through enhanced participation in the labour market and society.
In its document of conclusions, the EPSCO Council notes that 2012 is the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations and stresses the need “to increase active participation in society before and after retirement and promote independent, healthy and dignified living.” “Raising awareness of the ageing process is essential to understanding intergenerational solidarity and enabling mutual exchange of experience between generations. ‘Solidarity between Generations’ means inter alia that everyone – young and old – is expected to and must have the chance to actively participate in our European societies.”
Click here to read more about the EPSCO Council conclusions.
More than 160 relevant stakeholders participate in the European Commission’s conference
on Good Governance for Active and Healthy Ageing
More than 160 representatives from national governments, regional and local authorities, social partners and other relevant stakeholders participated in the conference "Good Governance for active and Healthy Ageing", which took place in Brussels on June 4th organised by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion.
Held in the context of the European Year 2012 and the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing, the purpose of this major event was to look at how different levels of government can cooperate in designing effective and comprehensive strategies for active and healthy ageing.
The presentations and speeches can be downloaded here.
European Commission publishes a new volume of the Social Europe guide on demography,
active ageing and pensions
The 3rd volume of the Social Europe guide recently published by the European Commission, entitled “Demography, active ageing and pensions”, gives an overview of the main demographic trends faced by Europe, such as ageing, a decrease in the working age population and declining fertility.
The document describes the EU's actions to promote active ageing, and explains EU policy efforts to ensure adequate, safe and sustainable pensions for the decades to come. It also presents views on the subject from the Council Presidency and the European Parliament.
This new Social Europe guide is already available online and in printed format in English, French and German.
generations@school - Engaging students and older people in intergenerational dialogue
All schools in Europe were invited from April to July 2012 to open the doors of their classrooms to older generations to explore how the dialogue between generations can contribute to a better education and a better understanding of each other.
More than 25 events took place throughout the EU as part of the generations@school project, from Warsaw to Athens, Bratislava and Edinburgh, and with the enthusiastic participation of a broad range of senior celebrities. Among the special active-agers who shared a day of engaging and fruitful activities with young students are actresses Lynda Bellingham and Uschi Glass, basketball hero Kostas Politis, dancer Aira Samulin and writer Andrea Camilleri.
>> Country Highlights
#QueridosAbuelos (Dear Grandparents), Twitter trending topic in Spain
To mark the celebration of Grandparents Day in Spain, the non-governmental organisation Desarrollo y Asistencia launched with great success a nation-wide campaign on July 26th in Twitter, aimed to leave no “abuelo” or “abuela” (grandfather or grandmother) without a virtual hug on such a special day.
The initiative, followed by hundreds of Internet users spontaneously, consisted on promoting the use of the hashtag #QueridosAbuelos (Dear Grandparents) in Twitter throughout the day.
The “New Agenda on Ageing Report”, presented in Ireland
The “New Agenda on Ageing Report - To Make Ireland the Best Country to Grow Old In” was presented at a national conference organised by The Ageing Well Network and the Irish Office for Older People on June 14th in Dublin. The report looks at how policies and services can be adapted to prepare for the challenges of an ageing world. It identifies key issues and presents options for change, based on Irish and international evidence as well as from many stakeholders working in the area of ageing.
>> Active Agers
More than 3,800 athletes participate in the 18th European Veterans Athletics Championships
The 18th European Veterans Athletics Championships (EVACS 2012) were held from August 15-25, hosted for the first time simultaneously by three countries (Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic). Over a course of 10 days, a total of 3,836 athletes from 38 countries between 35 and 97 years old competed in countless individual and relay disciplines. Germany, with its 903 male and 506 female athletes, had the highest number of participants at the starting blocks. Latvia was the only country to send more female than male athletes.
Senior volunteers contribute to the success of London 2012
The 2012 Olympics were made possible by up to 70,000 volunteers, or Games Makers, who gave up their time to help welcome the world to London. Many of these volunteers were seniors, who performed a wide variety of specialist and generalist roles – whether running information desks, helping out on the field of play, checking tickets or working in the medical services team. Seniors volunteered in London 2012 for very different reasons, but mainly because they wanted to demonstrate they can be as active and motivated as any young person.
>> Be Inspired
Mixed teams of adolescents (15 to 25 years) and older persons (45+) who are employed in companies, organizations or institutions in Austria are invited to submit their ideas and creative suggestions and proven good practice examples of solidarity between generations at their workplaces.
Technology for Elderly is a programme supported by the Swedish Government in order to increase the development of products and services that can assist senior citizens and their relatives in everyday life. Coordinated by the Swedish Institute of Assistive Technology, the programme was launched in 2007 and more than 100 projects have already received support.
The Third Age University of Miskolc and the Miskolc Downtown Kindergarten (Belvárosi Óvoda óvodavezetője) have developed a joint curriculum offering 38 types of activities to promote social interaction between the city's seniors clubs and kindergartens.
The second edition of the “Take a walk with an elder” campaign in Finland will be launched on October 4th 2012. This nation-wide campaign’s goal is to encourage as many old people as possible to walk outdoors safely and regularly during the winter months in Finland.
Memoro – The Bank of Memories is a non-profit project which collects, classifies and shares online the stories and experiences of people born before 1950. In a word, it's the online version of the stories that grandparents used to tell their grandchildren.